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PSW Course Options in Ontario

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Distance Organisation Name Address City, Province Postal Code Phone # Website

The current Ontario Personal Support Worker course evolved from a three level training program that previously existed. It amalgamates Health Care Aide and Home Support Worker training programs previously offered in Ontario.

The current PSW course curriculum is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU), Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (MOHLTC) and the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA). It provides in depth theoretical and clinical knowledge base.

Currently, there are three types of educational institutions that offer Personal Support Worker Course:

Educational Institution

Program Length

Program Hours

Provincial Exam Required

In Class



Community College

Eight months





Private Career College

Six to eight months





District School Board






Community Colleges

23 community colleges offer PSW course  at 118 campuses across Ontario.

On an average, Personal Support Worker Certificate course at these institutions is approximately eight months in length and is usually split into two semesters.

There are two essential components of this program at a community college:

  • In class, theoretical component
  • Community based practicum

These programs are very meticulous due to which, graduates of these programs do not have to write a provincial exam.

Private Career Colleges

Personal Support Worker Courses are also offered at Private career colleges in Ontario.

There are 103 campuses of 55 such colleges that offer this program.

These colleges must be registered with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

Additionally, the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) provide curriculum which is at par with the community college standards.

The length of PSW course at a private career college varies. Programs are offered on a part time and full time basis.

Two components of a PSW program at a Private career college are:

  • In class, theoretical component
  • Community based practicum

Certification Exam

The National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) is a non-profit organization that offers certification (not registration) for graduates of Personal Support Worker courses from Ontario private colleges.

Although this certification exam is meant to benchmark candidate’s knowledge base against the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) curriculum however, is not required to start working as a PSW in Ontario.

A Personal Support Worker Certificate is all that is necessary.

District School Boards

PSW course is offered at 24 district school boards across Ontario. It is offered through adult continuing education program.

One of the benefits of completing the training program through this channel is that, it serves a dual purpose. Upon completing this training program, the respective school board issues the Personal Support Worker Certificate and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

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